Faux leather is the budget-savvy shopper’s way of pulling off an expensive look without the high price. But if faux leather is made from plastic, does it need waterproofing? I’m going to answer that, along with other questions about how it’s needed and how it can protect that investment.
Waterproofing faux leather is beneficial for protecting the material and finish from breakdown due to moisture. This can be done with waterproofing spray, wax, or leather conditioner. Waterproofing faux leather takes minimal skill and supplies and can keep your faux leather looking newer for longer.
If faux leather items are made of plastic, do they really need waterproofing? What are the steps to waterproofing faux leather, and is it difficult? Let’s explore waterproofing faux leather and if and when it’s necessary.
What Is Waterproofing Faux Leather?
Waterproofing faux leather is done to protect the material and its finish from breaking down after exposure to moisture using one of several methods. Waterproofing faux leather can be done using a waterproofing spray, wax, or leather conditioner to help provide a water-resistant barrier on the faux leather’s surface.
What We’ll Explore
- Clearing up Myths & Misconceptions
- Reasons You Might Choose to Waterproof Faux Leather
- Variations or Styles of Waterproofing Faux Leather
- Waterproofing Faux Leather Overview Table
- Skill Level of Waterproofing Faux Leather
- Tools and Supplies Needed for Waterproofing Faux Leather
- How to Waterproofing Faux Leather Step by Step
- How to Get Better at Waterproofing Faux Leather
- My Personal Research on Waterproofing Faux Leather
- Helpful Insights on Waterproofing Faux Leather
- Key Takeaways
Clearing Up Myths & Misconceptions
One misconception about faux leather is that it is impervious to water. Although faux leather is usually made from various plastics and other synthetic materials, the polyurethane coating and plastic fibers can break down with repeated exposure to moisture without additional protection.
Researchers Irick and Ahmed from the University of Wyoming are even working on a method of creating faux leather from old plastic shopping bags, which may be more water resistant, but it’s still a work in progress. Another misconception is that faux leather doesn’t benefit from waterproofing. The truth is — even plastic can be worn away with constant exposure to water, and faux leather can develop mold when not adequately waterproofed.
Reasons You Might Choose To Waterproof Faux Leather
Why might one decide to waterproof their faux leather items? First, not all faux leather is created the same. Some are made with non-porous materials and considered waterproof, while others contain synthetic fibers that create pores and are water resistant. Also, faux leather is usually covered with a type of waterproof finish that makes it shiny, but it can wear away over time.
If one lives in a wet or rainy environment, the constant exposure to moisture will break down the protective finish and lead to faux leather cracking. Waterproofing faux leather will prevent the growth of mold and mildew. It only takes a couple of simple steps to waterproof faux leather and help it look good and last longer. Faux leather items consistently exposed to moisture include:
- Boots and shoes
- Vehicle interiors
- Boat seats
Waterproofing faux leather items can prevent premature cracking and mold.
Check out this helpful video from eHow At Home Channel to learn some basic tips for caring for faux leather.
Variations or Styles of Waterproofing Faux Leather
Not all faux leather items are made the same, and it can be challenging to try and use one variation of waterproofing on all of them. Thankfully there are several different methods and tools for waterproofing faux leather:
- Waterproofing spray
- Beeswax or carnauba wax
- Leather conditioner
Waterproofing Faux Leather Overview Table
|Area of Preparation
|Waterproofing Faux Leather
|Overall Level of Skill (1-5)
|Time to Complete (minutes/hours)
|Table or bare floor
|Tools and Supplies Needed
|Newspaper or protective working surface covering, microfiber towels or old t-shirts (two to three), masking or painter’s tape, waterproofing spray, beeswax or carnauba wax, or leather conditioner.
|Key Helpful Tip
|Clean and dry the faux leather item completely first and follow the manufacturer’s instructions
Skill Level of Waterproofing Faux Leather
Minimal skill is required for waterproofing faux leather. Knowing how to clean and dry faux leather properly is helpful and should be done before waterproofing. Each method is quite simple to perform as long as one follows the manufacturer’s instructions.
Some helpful tips include ensuring the faux leather item has been cleaned and allowed to dry thoroughly before applying the waterproofing substance of choice, then following the manufacturer’s instructions. Otherwise, waterproofing faux leather is not complex!
Tools and Supplies Needed for Waterproofing Faux Leather
The methods for waterproofing faux leather have very few tools and supplies needed. Using a table or bare floor to work on without worrying about ruining carpet or walls is best. The rest of the tools and supplies include the following:
- Newspaper or old towel to protect the working surface
- Microfiber towels or old t-shirts to apply materials and wipe away excess
- Masking or painter’s tape to protect any zippers
- Waterproofing spray
- Leather conditioner
How to Waterproofing Faux Leather Step by Step
With the supplies and space prepared, let’s do this step by step. This process works well for whichever method is chosen: waterproofing spray, beeswax, carnauba wax, or leather conditioner.
- Place the faux leather item on a hard surface covered with newspaper or an old towel.
- Clean the faux leather item with mild soap and water or leather cleaner using a microfiber towel or old t-shirt.
- Allow the faux leather item to dry completely.
- Remove any laces or accessories and cover zippers with tape.
- Test any waterproofing substance beforehand in an inconspicuous area to check for colorfastness and finish.
- Apply the waterproofing substance following the manufacturer’s instructions or by applying a thin, all-over coat.
- Wipe off any excess waterproofing substance before it dries with a clean microfiber towel or old t-shirt.
- Allow the waterproofing substance to dry completely (usually about an hour).
- Wear with confidence!
- Reapply as directed for the best moisture protection.
How to Get Better at Waterproofing Faux Leather
Getting better at waterproofing faux leather is really just about repeating the process. Most methods do require reapplication, so there’s always opportunity. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and learn what works well and what doesn’t.
Mistakes will be made, and that’s ok — just learn from them and try again. A little extra waterproofing or a sticky zipper isn’t usually the end of a faux leather item — it’s just a learning curve that can be overcome with repeated applications. And most waterproofing methods require repeated applications!
My Personal Research on Waterproofing Faux Leather
Several different types of waterproofing methods for faux leather, so how can one be sure which one to choose? I’ve put together a table that includes each waterproofing type, its benefits, and the price range to help you choose.
|Easy to apply, only requires reapplication monthly
|Beeswax or Carnauba wax
|Easy to apply, best moisture protection, reapplication may not be needed
|Easy to apply, conditions while it protects, only requires reapplication every few months
Helpful Insights On Waterproofing Faux Leather
Can you waterproof faux leather?
Yes. In fact, it is recommended to waterproof faux leather. Even though it is made mainly of plastic, like real leather, it can break down with time and use if it is not protected from water. Waterproofing spray, leather conditioner, and wax can all be used to waterproof faux leather.
Can you use waterproof spray on faux leather?
Waterproof spray can be used on faux leather to protect it from water. This will help maintain the material and prevent cracking and breaking down of the protective finish. It’ll also prevent the growth of mold or mildew when exposed to moisture.
Can I waterproof fake leather boots?
Fake leather boots can be waterproofed with spray, conditioner, or wax. Waterproof fake leather boots are a good choice because even plastic can break down with repeated exposure to moisture. So waterproof away!
- Waterproofing faux leather items can prevent premature cracking and mold.
- Waterproof spray, beeswax or carnauba wax, and leather conditioner can be used to waterproof faux leather.
- Faux leather items frequently exposed to moisture should have waterproofing substances reapplied at least monthly.
So there you have it — waterproofing faux leather may not be necessary in all cases, but it is best to protect the material. With several inexpensive methods to choose from, it’s quick and easy to keep an item looking luxurious while saving money. A win-win! Which waterproofing method will you choose for your faux leather items?